Delhiites woke up to a relatively clearer morning on Friday as the respite from the severe cold snap of the past few weeks continued. The minimum temperature on Friday was around 7.6 degrees Celsius, which is considered normal for this time of the year, according to PTI.
Fog was observed in isolated pockets early on Friday morning in Delhi and other parts of India such as Punjab, Chandigarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the India Meteorological Department said. The visibility at Palam was 400 metres while the visibility at Safdarjung was 600 metres around 8.30 am. The skies are expected to be mainly clear on Friday.
The air quality in Delhi was also marginally better as it was in the poor category on Friday, down from the severe zone of the past few days. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the Air Quality Index of Delhi was 381, or very poor, at 1 pm. While the pollution control board uses 24-hour average data, the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ SAFAR, or System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research reports real-time figures. It recorded an AQI reading of 380 at 1.12 pm.
Last week, Delhi had registered its 16th successive “severe cold day”, with minimum temperature recorded at 3.4 degrees Celsius. The national Capital had witnessed the longest cold spell in December in 22 years. Since 1993, Delhi has had a cold spell only in four years – 1997, 1998, 2003, and 2014.
According to the weather department, a “severe cold day” is registered when the minimum temperature drops to less than 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature is at least 6.4 degrees Celsius below normal. A “cold day” classification is used when the minimum temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum is 4.4 degrees Celsius below normal.
Thick fog in Chennai
Meanwhile, several areas in the southern city of Chennai also witnessed a thick fog on Friday morning. Several flights were delayed by 15 minutes to 30 minutes at the city airport due to poor visibility, according to The Hindu. Flights that were scheduled to land in Chennai around 5 am, from destinations such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Bangkok and Doha, landed late.
Seven flights, from Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Dubai and Pune, were diverted from Chennai to Bengaluru. Flights scheduled to depart Chennai early in the morning, to destinations such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Port Blair, Kolkata, Thoothukudi, Coimbatore and Delhi, were also delayed.